So, now I have the experience of riding with the "A" group from the Canal, New Albany and Westerville rides. While I have ridden with the W-ville crew only once, I have quizzed Dennis extensively as he rides with them frequently. Frankly, Dennis uses rather harsh language to describe the "A" Westervile cyclists using statements such as, "There really isn't anyone in there that is as strong as me" and "It's kind of like riding with the weak sisters of the poor". I think those descriptions are overly harsh and not at all reflective of the true qualities of the W-ville "A" group. The "A" swamp is likely also drained by the "Wednesday Worlds", which surely attracts most of the top cyclists.
We shoved off at 6:30, the normal W-ville start time and there were around 12 of us including Joe N, Glen Gardner, Walker dude, couple of Olympus guys, Jason (new, young guy not yet into cycling jerseys) and a few others. The terrain around the lake is mostly flat to slightly rolling so not much you can do about the routes, they're just going to be flat and this route was no different with a total elevation gain of 800' that included the "big" climb on Red Bank. Tonight's challenge was the wind though and it was fairly constant at around 15mph out of the south. After some sorting out a few miles into the ride we were down to around 8 and soon caught up with a short cutting B group that included Dennis, riding a tandem with his significant other. Having met her for the first time in the parking lot, I was able to get a few minutes alone with her and got some really good info that I will pass on in a future ride report but it includes Dennis wearing women's underwear and jewelry when at home. Frankly this was not surprising to me at all. Someone also wanted to know if she was really a paid escort, finding it hard to believe Dennis could be with someone that attractive or with someone of that gender.
There were 6-7 of us at the end of the 35 mile route and we finished with a 21.5 average. Putting the different "A" groups into perspective I'll use this analogy, The W-ville "A" group is more like a triple-A baseball team like the Toledo Mudhens or Columbus Clippers. Are there guys in this group who could ride with the Canal or NA "A" groups, oh sure but not likely to finish with them at the end. The Canal "A" group is like a midlevel major league team like the Milwaukee Brewers or Houston Astros. The top few Canal "A" riders could drop back and pummel the W-ville group and most of them would finish with the W-ville front group. The top 2-3 Canal "A" cyclists could maybe hang with the front NA group but likely fall back. The other Canal "A" cyclists would have trouble with the NA strong "B" group. The New Albany "A" group is like the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox. There are 6-8 of them who are the real deal and would drop back and pummel the Canal "A" group unless it was a very hilly route. The NA cyclists tend to be more sprinter body build then climbing body build and that probably explains why they rarely ride out of Canal. Hey, that's my story and I'm sticking to it until proven otherwise.